Barks and Badges K9 fundraiser is today

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Wednesday, Washoe County's K-9 Unit was called to help look for a wanted suspect.

The dogs are highly trained for this work but are also trained in more than just one skill.

“The dogs in this area, we have 6500 square miles. Our dogs can do everything from finding a missing child to stifling the opioid epidemic. We, literally are the main focus of our narcotics unit,” says Sergeant Phil Jones with Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations K9.

Wednesday, members of the Washoe County's K9 Unit demonstrated some of their skills for us.

They will be doing the same thing Saturday, May 19 at Bartley Ranch beginning at 10:00 in the morning, where their newest member, Boomer, will be introduced by the Sheriff.

”It wasn't just one person that gave to Boomer. It was everybody's pieces, from $5 here, $10 there, is what purchased Boomer and that is rare for us,” says Sergeant Jones.

The Saturday afternoon program is free to the public. That’s where they can watch the dog's crimefighting skills, ask questions and even pet the dogs. The family-friendly event will also feature booths, games and food.

In the evening the annual Barks and Badge raffle and silent auction will take place at the Sparks Nugget in the Chalet Terrace Room. All money generated goes to help equip the dogs.

“Like ballistic vests and things like that. But our unit is a little more innovative. We have GPS collars. We actually have drone-type equipment assigned to our dogs. And some things people don't think of. You can't use a common leash,” says Jones.

Jones says their dogs have received tremendous support from the community, especially since most residents understand how much time and money is spent on them. There are vests, and goggles and other items that help the K9s work with their human partners.

The cost is about $4,000 per dog.

For more information on Barks and Badges, click here.